Bhubaneswar, Sep 18:
With the polls for urban local bodies (ULBs) scheduled to be held tomorrow, the state unit of BJP today urged the state election commission (SEC) to ensure a free and fair election as there was every possibility of booth capturing by the ruling party.
“We anticipate that tomorrow’s poll will be vitiated by the goons of the ruling party, who will do everything, including booth capturing and manipulation, to ensure their victory. With the government in cahoots with them, this election will not be conducted in a fair manner. Till now, the high office of the SEC could not assure a level playing field for the parties. However, we expect that at least tomorrow the poll will be conducted in an orderly manner with no violations,” said Odisha BJP in a memorandum to SEC.
Alleging that both the BJD and Congress had violated the model code of conduct in the urban elections, the party accused that the office of the SEC of acting in a partisan manner in giving a clean-chit to the violators.
“The ruling BJD has blatantly misused its position of being the party in power and indulged in gross malpractice during the campaigning. They openly misused the government machinery and made public servants, bureaucrats and police to work for their party and candidates. Even the Collector’s office became a virtual extension of the BJD campaign centre, as was done in Angul,” the party accused in the memorandum.
It also alleged that the ruling party members have intentionally harassed BJP candidates contesting for the urban polls.
“Their business was hampered and false cases were filed against them. This was done to browbeat them and ensure that they could not campaign peacefully. The manner in which the BJP candidates were harassed in Karanjia, with the clear intent of spoiling their wining prospects, is unethical,” the party said.
Stating that BJDwais using money power to ensure victory of their candidates, the party said the observers of the election commission turned a blind eye to the incident.